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Canning Beets and How to Pressure Can Beet Soup aka Borscht Soup
What’s something you hated as a kid but love as an adult? For me, it’s beets. I couldn’t even quite tell you why. Especially because I absolutely love the smell of the Earth after rain. In fact, I still go outside after it pours to take it all in. Pressure canning beets in water, pickling them and even canning beet soup helps me relish in the beautiful color and flavor all year ’round.
Do you remember that wonderfully clean, earthy scent of disturbed soil? It turns out that scent is produced by something called geosmin, which is also in (you guessed it) beets! Certain bacteria cause this compound to produce that earthy aroma and flavor I hated so much as a kid. Don’t worry though, I’ve come full circle (Get it? Check out my cookbook linked here.) and now I love them, and for a few different reasons!
First of all, their taste. There are so many ways to enjoy beets! Seriously, So. Many. Ways. A personal favorite is currently a Mediterranean dish, Beet Salad, made of cooked beets, goat cheese, cucumbers and chives. I shared this recipe in my first cookbook, Canning Full Circle: Garden to Jar to Table. Another delicious way I enjoy beets in my diet all year long is creating Borscht, or Beet Soup. (I’ll go ahead and share that recipe with you below, I love it that much!)
Even better yet, you can get your kids to eat beets by baking them as fries, or whip up some delicious beet hummus that will surely draw some attention due to its fantastic fuchsia color! And don’t forget about pickling your beets! The yummy clove flavor with a touch of zing from the vinegar enhances the beets flavor giving you many uses like atop salads, burgers or straight out of the jar!
Fun Beet Fact
Speaking of drawing attention…it’s summer. And we all love a summer fling, right? Did you know beets could actually help you out with your romantic advances as a natural aphrodisiac? (I recommend you don’t use the beet and garlic recipe for this.) No, really. One of the many health benefits of beets is their high levels of nitrates. When consumes, nitrates convert into nitric oxide, which expand blood vessels. If you’re wondering what that means, it means more nutrients, more oxygen, and more energy for that special someone this summer!
All in all, I can’t believe I was missing out on so much for so long! For you long-term or new beet lovers, what’s your favorite way to add these beauties into your meals? Need some help deciding what to do with your bumper crop of beets? Here is a delicious pressure canning recipe that is sure to please…
Borscht Canning Recipe
Yield: Approx. 7 quarts or 14 pints
Prep Time: 45 min / Cook Time: 15 min / Processing Time: 75 min/90 min / Total Time: 135 min/150 min
This soup is a fun spin on a Russian variety boasting earthy sweet flavor. A hearty meal that is sure to please even the finickiest of eaters, yet a sure delight for beet lovers. Serve hot and add a touch of sour cream and garnish with a fresh sage leaf.
24 medium beets, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups sweet onion, chopped (1 large)
8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
½ head red cabbage, sliced thin
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
8 cups beef stock
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon wine
1 tablespoon raw sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
- Beet Prep: Leave the root on each beet and cut stems leaving at least 2” attached. Thoroughly wash your beets and place inside a stainless steel stock pot, placing the largest beets at the bottom. Cover beets with two inches of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes or until the largest beet is tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, or tongs, remove beets from boiling water and place directly into a bowl of cold water resting in the sink. Keep tap running to provide a steady stream of cold water to quickly cool the beets. One-by-one, place beet in both hands while running it under the cool stream; using your thumbs, gently rub and massage the beet, slipping skin off each beet. Cut root and stem off each beet with a paring knife. Chop skinned beets into 2” pieces and set aside.
- In a stainless steel stock pot, add olive oil and sauté onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes until the onions become translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Stir in chopped beets and boil for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Working in batches, place the beet mixture in food processor and pulse until it is a fine puréed texture. Place puréed mixture in a clean stainless steel stock pot. Add wine, sugar, salt and pepper and mix well. On medium heat, while stirring frequently, allow borscht to gently heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir continually to avoid scorching the borscht.
- Ladle hot soup into hot jars leaving a generous 1” head space. Remove any air bubbles and add additional soup if necessary, keeping the 1 ¼” head space.
- Wipe each rim with a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar. Place lid and rings on each jar and hand tighten.
- Place jars in pressure canner, lock the pressure canner lid and bring to a boil on high heat. Let canner vent for 10 minutes Close vent and continue heating to achieve 11 psi for a dial gauge and 10 psi for a weighted gauge. Process quarts for 90 minutes and pints for 75 minutes.
Ingredient Tip: Each quart is roughly four 8-ounce servings, however depending on the size of the beet and the consistency when puréed, the yield may vary slightly. To avoid a drastic variance in yield, select like-sized beets or count two smaller beets to equal one larger-sized beet.
For more exciting recipes on how to pressure can creative uses for your garden vegetables, be sure to pick up a copy of my latest book, The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need to Know to Can Meats, Vegetables, Meals in a Jar and More. You won’t be disappointed!
Diane, The Canning Diva®